Kresge Auditorium, MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts


Related person
Kaiyan Mistree (was created by)
Date
1954-1955
Description
The Auditorium is located on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). "Saarinen devised a three-cornered dome to unify the Institute's architectural landscape by mirroring MIT's two trademark domes that sit at the gateway to the eastern half of the campus. Rising 50 feet above the ground at its apogee, the 1200-ton Kresge dome is one-eighth of a concrete sphere supported at three points by concrete and steel abutments. Structurally, the domed roof actually floats free of the brick base of the auditorium it protects. Known for the sublime acoustics of his previous auditoriums, Saarinen brought all his experience and ingenuity to bear on the project for MIT. Working with a team of acoustical consultants from MIT, Saarinen designed his progressive concert hall without the usual plaster dropped ceiling. Instead, he used innovative free-hanging "clouds" that absorb and direct sound; carry lights, loudspeakers, and ventilating equipment; and still offer a clear view of the domed ceiling. Because there are no columns, every seat in Kresge Auditorium has an unobstructed view of the stage. The lower level incorporates the 200-seat Little Theater, greenroom, checkroom, lounges, offices, and service areas. The meticulous renovation by Kevin Roche, John Dinkeloo & Associates, the firm that worked with Saarinen on the original building, has preserved the architect's original design while upgrading the building's systems and materials to serve another half-century of audiences." --http://web.mit.edu/evolving/projects/kresge/
Style/Period
1950s (1950 - 1959)